Kako daleč bi lahko ustrelil angleški vojni lok?

Kako daleč bi lahko ustrelil angleški vojni lok?

Domet srednjeveškega orožja ni natančno znan, z ocenami od 165 do 228 m (180 do 249 jardov)

Tako pravi Wikipedia. Sem pa v pol izmišljenem, polzgodovinskem delu Bernarda Cornwella prebral, da lahko loki streljajo (in zadenejo tarče!) Na daljavo. Na žalost tega citata ne najdem, vendar iščem druge citate in/ali poskuse, ki kažejo boljši dokaz kot Wiki.

Moti me tudi to, da večina virov pravi, da bi "lokostrelec lahko ustrelil to daleč ", vendar ali to pomeni, da bi lahko tako učinkovito streljal ali pa bi samo puščica tam pristala? Z drugimi besedami: ali so omenjeni dosegi razdalja, na kateri bi povprečen lokostrelec lahko zadel tarčo, ali ne?


Za popolnost mora vsa wikipedia povedati:

Domet srednjeveškega orožja ni natančno znan, z ocenami od 165 do 228 m (180 do 249 jardov). Sodobni dolgi loki imajo uporaben doseg do 180 m (200 yd). Dolg lok 667 N (150 lbf) Mary Rose je lahko izstrelil puščico 53,6 g (1,9 oz) 328 m (360 yd) in 95,9 g (3,3 oz) razdaljo 249,9 m (272 yd). Leteča puščica poklicnega lokostrelca časa Edvarda III bi dosegla 400 jardov. Prav tako je dobro znano, da po naročilu Henrika VIII.

Referenca za to: Od Hastings do 'Mary Rose': The Great Warbow, žal za plačilnim zidom

Tudi Stoletna vojna: različne perspektive. p76 in p74 varnostno kopirata wikipedijo, stran 242 pa vsebuje nekaj zanimivih komentarjev o masi puščice in dosegu (kar nakazuje do 200 jardov uporabnega obsega)

Najdaljši, ki je kdajkoli streljal z dolgim ​​lokom, je 340 m, dosežen leta 1910 s težo žreba 157 lb (700N). Očitno je dejstvo, vendar ne najdem spletnega vira, ki ne bi bil vir wikipedije, morda je v "Invention and Evolution" M. J. French (1988, Cambridge Univ. Press) (poglavje 3.4.2) "

Odgovor Bernarda Cornwella na ta vprašanja je na njegovi spletni strani, vendar ne povezuje ničesar posebej. Gotovo ima v mislih posebne vire, ali so v katerem od prilog njegove knjige?


Sodobni lokostrelci, ki uporablja replike srednjeveških (tudor) lokov in z vojaškimi puščicami strelja replike puščic (iz najdb).

Oglejte si zapise na http://www.theenglishwarbowsociety.com/


Imam angleški vojni lok, ki tehta 80 lb, in lahko upravljam 245 m s "standardno" srednjeveško puščico in 220 m s težko vojno puščico. Zadnji strelski strel, ki sem se ga udeležil, je zmagal lokostrelec, ki je izstrelil težke vojne puščice nad 300 m. Ko streljamo na oznake, moramo uganiti razdaljo do vrste tarč (pomislite na golf) in večina spodobnih lokostrelcev pride na dve ali tri od treh puščic na razdalji 10 m od oznake, kar je dovolj preprosto, da zadene skupino moških na bojišču . Oznake so na kateri koli razdalji od približno 140 do 220 m


Pri delu je preveč dejavnikov, da bi resnično rekli "lok ima obseg X". Kako močan je moški, ki vleče lok, ali je veter za smer puščice ali proti njej, kako močno piha? Kako dobro je narejen lok? Je v dobrem stanju?

Tudi s kakšnim streljanjem se ukvarjate? Ali preprosto poskušate izstreliti puščico daleč, ne glede na to, da zadeva kaj? Ali pa ciljate na zastavljen cilj? Ne ukvarjam se s streljanjem, zato nimam pojma o teh razdaljah. Kako daleč bi lahko nekdo natančno pričakoval, da bo streljal s standardno puško? Dodajte še dodatne težave z lokom in ne bo predaleč.

Mislim, da 165-228 m ni preširok razpon ocen glede na različne dejavnike, ki so lahko v igri.

Streljanje in zadevanje tarče na večjem dosegu ne pomeni nujno, da so na tej razdalji ciljali na majhno bikovsko oko. Bolj verjetno je to pomenilo samo streljati v skupino moških in zadeti enega naključnega nesrečnega moža.


Novi rekord v razdalji za vojni lok je 412 metrov, ki ga je postavil Madžarski Josef Monus in ustrelil 100# Elb, ki ga je zgradil Stephen Gardner (jaz)


Nisem lokostrelec, vendar bi to poudaril. Z vojaškega vidika bi bila uporaba nekaj puščic na ekstremnih dosegih zelo koristna.

Razmislite o tem za minuto. Bi kot zagovornik želeli, da se sovražnik postavi za napad na 250 jardov ali na 350-400 jardov? Z vojaškega vidika bi želel, da se nekaj mojih lokostrelcev premakne pred mojo linijo in na zbirnem "območju" izstreli proč, da bi sovražnika premaknilo čim dlje nazaj, preden bi lahko začel napad. Vse težave, zmede ali škode, ki jih lahko naredite sovražniku, preden se začne pravi boj, so v dobro.

Zato ima lahko vprašanje skrajnega dosega in uporabnega dosega včasih različne pomene/odgovore v različnih fazah posla.


Ker sem sam izdelal lesene loke do 80 kg in sodeloval pri rekonstrukciji, lahko rečem: odvisno je od lesa, konstrukcije premca, vrvice in puščice (poleg vremena, zemljepisa/topografije, vetra in lokostrelca, seveda).

Brez pomoči pri ciljanju ali vizualnih referencah lahko dober tradicionalni lokostrelec vzdržuje ozek distribucijski disk do ~ 20-30 m pri streljanju na dosegu z enakim preletom puščic, bistveno manj pri streljanju v naravi z vzponi in padci, ovire in motnje. Tradicionalni lov na lok zalezuje, manj pa s popolnoma opremljenimi sodobnimi sestavljenimi loki in puščicami iz vlaken.

Streli na velike razdalje, npr. streljanje, so množična streljanja. Hiter lokostrelec lahko obdrži 2-3 puščice, 50 lokostrelcev pa bo ustvarilo lep optični in akustični coulisse :-). Puščice so izstreljene pri ~ 45 °, pri udarcu pa imajo le svojo končno hitrost. Če pa je glava dolga igla, bo še vedno švignila skozi lahek oklep ali prstan ali orbito lobanje.

Dolgi streli v tradicionalnem lokostrelstvu, ravni in brez vetra, so približno 200-250 m, kot so opazili drugi. Moj najdaljši je bil ~ 180 m s 65 lbs Osage Orange lokom, puščico z naravnim perjem in kovano glavo, gredjo potnika. Bilo bi malo več z veliko lažjo puščico iz steklenih vlaken.

Kar zadeva obseg dolgih lokov, kronike bitke pri Agincourt, ki so bile že omenjene tukaj, pravijo, da se je balo, da bi puščice prebile lahke oklepe na spojih do razdalje od 220 do 200 jardov, čeprav so bili to seveda nenamerni balistični streli. Ta doseg bi videl kot največji učinkovit doseg v teh pogojih, dlje bi bil večinoma izguba puščic, imo.

Omenjena je tudi razbitina Marije Rose, v kateri je bilo veliko palic in lokov. Čeprav se o nekaterih tehničnih podatkih (zlasti žrebanju) še vedno razpravlja, lahko domnevamo, da je teža žrebanja od 100 do 160 lbs. Narejenih je bilo kar nekaj kopij.

Nadaljnje branje: Tradicionalna Bowyerjeva Biblija, letnik 1 do 4.


za odgovor na to vprašanje je veliko dejavnikov. Angleški loki niso imeli vse enake teže, niti puščice niso bile enake teže, nekateri loki so bili hitrejši od drugih. težka puščica. Oprostite, če je to zameglilo vodo. V starih časih so jomani in kmetje, ki so uporabljali lokostrel, streljali na razdalji približno 200 jardov. na tej razdalji so bili do neke mere natančni. V vojni so na tej razdalji pričakovali, da bodo lahko dobili puščico v nekaj metrih, potem ko bodo razdaljo dosegli okoli 100 jardov, bodo nato izbirali cilje. Upoštevati je treba več spremenljivk. rekel bi, da je povprečna razdalja streljanja 240-300 jardov.


Današnja splošna populacija ne more dojeti sposobnosti lokostrelcev ali drugih bojevnikov. Zavedati se je treba, da so bili lokostrelci usposobljeni že zelo zgodaj in da so razvijali asimetrična telesa, ko so napredovali v višje uteži žrebanja. Arheologi so ugotovili, da so bile lokostrelčeve bodice ukrivljene, mišice desne roke / hrbta pa nenormalno velike.

Kar zadeva "replike lokov", je tisa zdaj ogrožena vrsta, zato dvomim, da bi replika loka iz drugega lesa WRT izvedla elastičnost in kompresijske obremenitve slavne tise.


Na zastavljeno vprašanje ni dobrega odgovora. Odvisno od tega, kakšen lok, kultura in drugi dejavniki, kot so profesionalni vojaki, lokostrelci, verzi nabornika. Kako visok in močan je človek.

Mnogi ljudje gledajo angleški dolgi lok, ki po zgodovinskih zapisih v več muzejih kaže, da je 200 do 300 jardov učinkovit doseg za ciljno streljanje. Natančnost kot pri zadetku bikovega očesa v tarčo (8-10-palčni krog) je na splošno okoli 150 do 200 jardov. Ciljanje na vojno je znotraj 18 do 24 palcev, kar je bilo učinkovito do 250 jardov.

Streljanje z baražo, kjer ne poskušate zadeti določene tarče, se lahko giblje od 300 do kar 650 jardov. Med križarskimi vojnami lokostrelcev obstajajo omembe, ki rišejo z dvema rokama ob nogah in stopalih za največjo razdaljo. Še posebej je to veljalo med drugo bitko pri Acre, ki je krščansko vojsko zdesetkala, saj so muslimani izstrelili izstrelke izven dosega. Ta vrsta loka je imela težo okoli 150 lbs. Spomnim se, da sem v britanskem narodnem muzeju prebral, da človek ne more narisati te vrste loka, ne da bi sedel in uporabil dve roki.

Torej, kako daleč lahko oseba izstreli puščico? Odvisno od osebe in vrste loka. Odgovor je od 100 do 650 jardov. Natančnost streljanja je približno 250 metrov. Streljanje z natančno točko je manj kot 150 jardov. Vendar pa v zgodovinskem zapisu obstajajo trditve, da je bilo streljanje z natančno točko na voljo do 250 jardov. Drugi plakat je poudaril, da je Henry III zahteval, da so polja lokostrelstva vsaj 220 jardov. Vendar pa je bil Henry III najbolj opazen pri uporabi samostrelov kot dela svojih lokostrelskih sil, saj so bili samostreli in ročni topovi najprimernejše orožje svojega časa, čeprav so bili še vedno razporejeni tudi dolgi loki. Henry V je kot primer uporabil samostrele pri dolgem premcu pri porazu Francozov pri Agincourtu.


Svoj sestavljeni lok 75 lb z lesenimi okončinami sem vzel na strelišče in najbolj oddaljen strel je bil 335 jardov. To je bilo samo streljanje pod visokim kotom in puščanje, da pristane nekje daleč stran od pogleda, nato pa pojdi poišči.

Na tem območju pa nikakor ne morete ciljati na cilj. Komaj sem videl osebo na tej razdalji, razlike med posnetki pa so prevelike. Puščice res ne morete videti niti po dveh sekundah leta in lahko le ugibate, kje je pristala. Puščica je bila zataknjena v tla na 335 jardih, vendar ne zelo trdno. Ne vem, kako hitro je šlo, vendar mislim, da bi se zlomilo, če bi puščico streljal neposredno v tla, ne da bi na tej razdalji izgubil hitrost.

Sestavljeni loki streljajo dlje kot tradicionalni loki, ki imajo enako puščico in izvlečejo težo/dolžino.

Vem, da to ni isto kot dolgi lok, vendar mislim, da je to povezano z vprašanjem.


Obstajajo dokazi o tem, da so angleški dolgi loki streljali dlje od 250 jardov, zlasti v Crecyju, kjer so bili daljši loki približno 300 jardov.


Kratka zgodovina lokostrelstva

Lokostrelstvo je ena najstarejših veščin, ki se še vedno izvajajo. Ta zgodovina vas ne bo vodila le skozi potovanje o razvoju lokostrelstva, ampak tudi skozi zgodovino človeštva. Po vsem svetu so našli dokaze o starodavnem lokostrelstvu.

Najzgodnejši dokazi o lokostrelstvu so iz obdobja poznega paleolitika, okoli 10.000 pr.

Na Kitajskem lokostrelstvo izvira iz dinastije Shang (1766-1027 pr. N. Št.). Vojaški voz tistega časa je prevozil ekipo treh ljudi: voznika, lancerja in lokostrelca. V času dinastije Zhou (Chou) (1027–256 pr.


Lok in puščica sta eno najstarejših izstrelkov v orožju v zgodovini in segajo že 30.000 let pred našim štetjem. Ta model je že od nekdaj prisoten, zlasti za lov, toda uporaba premca v vojskovanju se je v srednjem veku uveljavila. Govorim o#8217m Angleški longbow, imenovan tudi valižanski dolgi lok. Njegova prva zabeležena uporaba v Veliki Britaniji je bila okoli leta 633 našega štetja, ko je puščica valižanskega dolgega loka ubila Edwina, sina kralja Northumberlanda.

Prednosti Longbow -a

Samostrel je bil v srednjem veku glavni tekmec dolgega loka in priljubljen, ker je zahteval minimalno usposabljanje. Vendar je lahko dosegel le 1-2 vijaka na minuto in imel učinkovit doseg 20-40 jardov dolgi lok je lahko izstrelil 6 puščic na minuto v dosegu 300-400 jardov. Prav tako jih je bilo relativno enostavno narediti, da lahko sodobni kladivci zgradijo dolgi lok v približno 10-20 urah.

Loki v bitki

V srednjem veku je dolgi lok videl uporabo v različnih državljanskih vojnah, po katerih je bilo obdobje precej znano. Igrali so tudi a ključno vlogo v več bitkah Stoletne vojne#8217. Ena izmed teh je bila bitka pri Crécyju, ki se je zgodila v severni Franciji 26. avgusta 1346. Na eni strani so bile izčrpane francoske sile, katerih samostrelci so pravkar zdržali dolg pohod v dežju, ki jim je poškodoval veliko orožja. Na drugi strani so bili Angleži, ki so si izbrali bojno polje, počivali in ohranjali suhe tetive. Francozi so poskusili z samostrelom, ki ni imel učinka.

Kako so se odzvali Angleži? Froissart, priznani francoski kronist, pravi tako:

“Les archers anglois découvrent leurs arcs, qu ’ils avoient tenus dans leur étui obesek la pluie. ”

Prevod: angleški lokostrelci so odkrili svoje loke, ki so jih ob dežju obdržali v kovčku (hej, vedel sem, da bo nekoč francoska diploma prav prišla). In ne potrebujete Froissarta, da veste, kaj se je zgodilo naslednje. Obstaja celo lepa ilustracija tega pravočasnega dela umetnosti:

Bitka pri Crecyju (Wikipedia Commons)

Mokri samostreli (levo) se niso ujemali z valižanskim dolgim ​​lokom (desno), ki je lahko ustrelil 400 jardov in dal 5-6 puščic na minuto. Francoske sile so bile kmalu razbite in so imele na tisoče žrtev.

Longbows proti Chain Mail in Plate Armor

Zanimivo vprašanje, ki se pojavlja tako v zgodovini kot v fantazijskih romanih, je, ali bi dolgi loki lahko dali puščico skozi oklep ali verižno pošto. V ta namen so verjetno razvili bodkin puščico, katere konica ima močnejšo, ožjo konico (v bistvu kvadratno obliko, podobno kopju). V primerjavi s širokim glavo, ki je imelo širši polmer rezanja, je bilo verjetneje, da bodo bodkini prebili oklepne sovražnike.

Čeprav gre za razpravo med zgodovinarji, mnogi verjamejo, da bi bodkin težko prodrl v trden oklep, zlasti v visokokakovostne ploščaste oklepe, prekrite z gambesonom (nekakšno krpo, ki se nosi na zunanji strani za zaščito pred projektili). Proti verižnici, ki ni mitril, pa je bil dolg lok s puščicami bodkin verjetno zelo smrtonosen. Še posebej na bližnji razdalji (& lt50 jardov).

Razbitina Mary Rose

Mary Rose avtorja Anthony Roll (Wiki Commons)

Le malo lokov iz antike je preživelo. Za razliko od mečev, oklepov, ščitov in drugega orožja so se loki obrabili in jih zamenjali, namesto da bi jih predali iz roda v rod. Večina tega, kar vemo o angleških dolgih lokih, izvira iz Mary Rose, bojne ladje iz mornarice kralja Henrika VIII, ki je potopila leta 1545.

Ko je bila ponovno odkrita v sedemdesetih in osemdesetih letih 20. stoletja, je bila razbitina kot časovna kapsula iz obdobja Tudorjev. Med neštetimi zgodovinskimi artefakti je bilo približno 175 dolgih lokov in 4000 puščic, katerih analiza je prepisala naše razumevanje angleških dolgih lokov v srednjem veku. To uporabljam za spodnjo primerjavo.

Sodobno lokostrelstvo

Strelno orožje je sčasoma nadomestilo lok in puščico v bojevanju, vendar je lokostrelstvo še danes priljubljeno pri športu in rekreaciji. Vem več o strani lova na lok, kjer so loki, puščice in sorodna oprema sodobna čuda. Po podatkih ameriške službe za ribe in prostoživeče živali obstajajo

3 milijone lovcev na loke v Združenih državah in vsako leto porabijo 935 milijonov dolarjev za loke, puščice in drugo lokostrelsko opremo. Večina lovcev ima raje sestavljeni lok iz razlogov, ki jih bom razložil spodaj. Kakšna je njihova sodobna oprema v primerjavi z lokostrelci kralja Henrika VIII. Naj ugotovimo ’.


Robin Hood in moč loka in puščice

Vsi so že slišali za pravljico o Robinu Hoodu, ki puščico razdeli z drugo puščico, a je to res mogoče?

Vir: William Cho, Genghis Khan: Razstava.
licencirano pod Creative Commons.

Lok in puščica se uporablja že približno 64.000 let in je bila med najpomembnejšimi orodji pri vzponu človeške prevlade. Genghis Khan je to orožje slavno uporabil za razširitev mongolskega cesarstva s Kitajske na Evropo. Številne kulture so izkoristile potencial loka in puščice, vključno z Indijanci, Rimljani in nekaterimi plemeni v Južni Afriki. Uporabljali so ga za lov, vojno, uspešnost, šport in včasih neumnosti, kot je streljanje z gorečo puščico za prižiganje ognja (prosim, ne poskusite tega doma!)

Gradniki loka in puščice

Vir: En Lucky Guy, angleški lokostrelec
licencirano pod Creative Commons.

Trakovi so bili tradicionalno narejeni iz lesa ali roga, včasih pa so podprti z živalskimi tetivami (tetivami).

Dolgi lok, izdelan iz tise, je med 100 letno vojno zaslovel z Robinom Hoodom in Anglijo. Dolgi loki so dolgi približno 6 čevljev, lahko izstrelijo puščico med 250 in 300 jardi in lahko prebijejo oklep 100 metrov stran. Srčni les (sredina drevesa) se uporablja za notranjo stran premca, ker se bolje upira stiskanju, beljakovina (mehak les pred notranjim lubjem) pa se uporablja za zunanjo stran premca, ker dobro deluje pod napetostjo. Rekurni loki so izboljšava tradicionalnega dolgega loka in imajo močnejši strel z daljšo dolžino žreba. Dve roki zložljivega loka sta upognjeni navznoter, kar ustvarja obliko 'w' v premcu, kar vodi do večje teže žice (moč v premcu).

Vir: JD Paterson, Sestavljeni lok
licencirano pod Creative Commons.

Sestavljeni lok vsebuje več kot en material. Po izdelavi sredine (okostja) premca se na trebušno stran (tisto obrnjeno proti vam) ali na zadnjo stran (obrnjeno stran od vas) pritrdijo dodatni kosi lesa ali živalske tetive. Ti kosi dodajajo moč šibkim točkam v premcu, kar omogoča večjo napetost in močnejši strel. Indijanci v Severni Ameriki so oblikovali kompozitne loke z lepljenjem plasti tetive na jedro in različnimi točkami visokega pritiska vzdolž premcev. Drugi slog so uporabljali Egipčani, kjer so rogove in tetive uporabili za izdelavo premca trikotne oblike. Bambus so uporabljali tudi Japonci, ki so ustvarili azijske loke z daljšo zgornjo roko. Ti loki so narejeni iz trakov bambusa, pritrjenih skupaj z ribjim lepilom in podprtih s stranicami lešnika.

Vir: Horace A. Ford, perje puščice znanja iz 19. stoletja
licencirano pod Creative Commons.

Seveda pa puščica in vrvica s tem mitom nekoliko vplivajo!

Tradicionalne strune so narejene iz živalskih ali rastlinskih vlaken, zlepljenih skupaj in pritrjenih na lok z etrom v vozel ali zanko. Puščica je narejena iz lesa, trstike ali trsa, ki ima ravno zrno, z drugimi besedami črte v materialu potekajo vzporedno z gredjo. Perje, običajno gosje ali puranje, se prilepi na gred in pritrdi z vrvico. Na koncu gredi so običajno pritrjena tri perja. Za ustvarjanje udarca, kjer puščica leži na vrvici, se konec puščice odreže na sredino, kost pa se potisne v gred, da zadrži odprto točko udarca. Konica puščice je najbolj spremenljiva, saj so konice iz kosti, kovine, kamna ali lesa utrjene v ognju.

Čudežni strel

Vir: mediadeo, Robin Hood, Split Arrow
licencirano pod Creative Commons

Ko se lok potegne nazaj, prenašamo potencialno energijo iz roke v okončine loka. Ta energija se prenese na puščico, ko spustimo vrvico, ki potisne puščico naprej. Toda na tradicionalnem oprijemu bo struna zdrsnila z lokostrelčevih prstov in povzročila, da se puščica nekoliko premakne izven črte. Ko puščica zdrsne iz premca, bo poskušala to črto prilagoditi, zaradi česar bo puščica nihala po zraku. Ta nihanja dramatično zmanjšujejo možnosti, da bi to dosegli na milijon! Takrat pride perje. Fletching povzroči, da se puščica vrti, kar stabilizira njen let in ji pomaga pri preprečevanju vlečnih učinkov vetra in zraka. Tako kot žoga z mrežo vrtenje daje strelu večjo natančnost.

Zdaj vemo, da je logistika loka in puščice mogoča.

Mnogi so brez dvoma poskusili, jaz sem! Vendar pa je na poti popolnega posnetka veliko dejavnikov. Zrno puščice, če ni popolnoma vzporedno, bo povzročilo, da se puščica Robina Hooda nagne, ko zadene konec ciljne gredi. Kost, ki se je zataknila v trku ali nihanju puščice med letom, lahko povzroči tudi odmik puščice od predvidene tarče. Ena mojih najljubših oddaj ‘Mythbusters ’ je večkrat preizkusila ta mit (Oglejte si ‘Mystbusters ’ sezona 4, epizoda 8). Razbili so ga! Vendar pa je sreča lahko vedno na vaši strani in tako kot mnogi drugi verjamem, da je možna celovita razdelitev!


Dolgi lok

Dolgi lok, kakršnega poznamo danes, meri okoli višine človeka, se je prvič pojavil proti koncu srednjega veka. Čeprav se na splošno pripisujejo valižankam, so dolgi loki dejansko prisotni vsaj od neolitika: enega iz tise in zavitega v usnje so našli v Somersetu leta 1961. Domnevajo se, da so bile v Skandinaviji odkrite še zgodnejše najdbe.

Zdi se, da so Valižani prvi razvili taktično uporabo dolgega loka v najsmrtonosnejše orožje svojega časa. Med anglo-normansko invazijo na Wales naj bi ‘ valižanski lokostrelci močno prizadeli napadalce ’. Ko je bil osvojitev Walesa končana, so bili valižanski obvezniki vključeni v angleško vojsko za akcije Edwarda na severu Škotske.

Čeprav je kralj Edward I,Kladivo Keltov, običajno velja za človeka, odgovornega za dodajanje moči dolgega loka v angleško orožarno dneva, dejanski dokazi za to so nejasni, čeprav je ob nedeljah prepovedal vse športe, razen lokostrelstva, da bi zagotovil, da Angleži vadijo z dolgim ​​lokom . Vendar pa je v času vladavine Edvarda III., Ko več dokumentiranih dokazov potrjuje pomembno vlogo dolgega loka v angleški in valižanski zgodovini.

V času vladavine Edwarda III je seveda prevladovala Stoletna vojna, ki je dejansko trajala od 1337-1453. Morda je zaradi tega stalnega vojnega stanja preživelo toliko zgodovinskih zapisov, ki so dolgi lok povzdignili v legendarni status najprej pri Crécyju in Poitiersu, nato pa še v Agincourtu.

Bitka pri Crécyju

Po pristanku s približno 12.000 možmi, vključno s 7.000 lokostrelci in prevzemom Caena v Normandiji, se je Edward III preselil proti severu. Edwardove sile je nenehno spremljala precej večja francoska vojska, dokler niso leta 1346 končno prispele v Crécy z močjo 8000.

Angleži so zavzeli obrambni položaj v treh divizijah na tleh, ki so se nagnila navzdol, z lokostrelci na bokih. Enemu od teh oddelkov je poveljeval Edwardov šestnajstletni sin Edward Black Prince. Francozi so najprej poslali najemniške genovske samostrelce, ki so šteli med 6000 in 12.000 mož. S hitrostjo streljanja tri do pet strelov na minuto se niso ujemali z angleškimi in valižanskimi moškimi z dolgimi loki, ki so lahko v istem času izstrelili deset do dvanajst puščic. Poroča se tudi, da je dež škodljivo vplival na tetive samostrelov.

Potem ko je Filip VI komentiral neuporabnost svojih lokostrelcev, je poslal svojo konjenico, ki je napadla skozi in čez svoje samostrelce. Angleški in valižanski lokostrelci ter orožniki so jih zadržali ne le enkrat, ampak skupaj 16-krat. Med enim od teh napadov je bil Edwardov sin Črni princ pod neposrednim napadom, a je njegov oče zavrnil pošiljanje pomoči in trdil, da mora "zmagati".

Po noči se je Filip VI, sam ranjen, ukazal umik. Po eni oceni je bilo med francoskimi žrtvami enajst knezov, 1200 vitezov in 12 000 vojakov. Edward III naj bi izgubil nekaj sto mož.


Bitka pri Crécyju med Angleži in Francozi v Stoletni vojni#8217.
Iz osvetljenega rokopisa iz 15. stoletja Chronicles Jean Froissart

Bitka pri Poitiersu

Podrobnosti o bitki pri Poitiersu leta 1356 so v resnici precej nejasne, vendar se zdi, da se je približno 10.000 angleških in valižanskih vojakov, tokrat pod vodstvom Edwarda, princa Walesa, znanega tudi kot črni princ, umaknilo po dolgi kampanji v Franciji s francosko vojsko nekje med 20.000 - 60.000 možmi v tesnem zasledovanju. Vojski sta bili ločeni z veliko živo mejo, ko so Francozi našli vrzel in se poskušali prebiti. Zavedajoč se, da se bo kmalu začela bitka Črni princ je svojim ljudem ukazal, naj oblikujejo svoje običajne bojne položaje s svojimi lokostrelci na bokih.

Francozi, ki so razvili majhno konjeniško enoto posebej za napad na angleške in valižanske lokostrelce, niso bili le nenadoma ustavljeni s številom puščic, ki so jih obsipale, ampak so bile po vsej verjetnosti ujete. Naslednji napad so prišli Nemci, ki so se povezali z Francozi in vodili drugi konjeniški napad. Tudi to je bilo ustavljeno in pravijo, da so bili napadi angleških in valižanskih lokostrelcev tako intenzivni, da je nekaterim nekaterim zmanjkalo puščic in so morali teči naprej in zbirati puščice, vgrajene v ljudi, ki ležijo na tleh.

Po zadnji streli strelcev in ognja#8217 je Črni princ ukazal napredovanje. Francozi so se zlomili in preganjali v Poitiers, kjer je bil ujet francoski kralj. Prepeljali so ga v London in ga odkupili v londonskem stolpu za 3.000.000 zlatih kron.

Bitka pri Agincourt

28-letni kralj Henrik V. je 11. avgusta 1415 izplul iz Southamptona s floto okoli 300 ladij, da bi uveljavil svoje prvorodstvo vojvodine Normandije in tako oživil angleško bogastvo v Franciji. Pristali so pri Harfleurju na severu Francije in oblegali mesto.

Obleganje je trajalo pet tednov, kar je veliko dlje, kot je bilo pričakovano, Henry pa je zaradi griže izgubil okoli 2000 svojih mož. Henry se je odločil, da zapusti garnizon pri Harfleurju in preostanek svoje vojske odpelje domov skozi francosko pristanišče Calais, skoraj 100 milj oddaljeno proti severu. Na poti sta jim le dve manjši težavi, zelo velika in jezna francoska vojska ter reka Somme. Henrikova vojska se je borila s številnimi, bolnimi in pomanjkanjem zalog, vendar je sčasoma uspela prečkati Somme.

Na cesti proti severu, v bližini vasi Agincourt, so Francozi končno lahko ustavili Henrijev pohod. Približno 25.000 Francozov se je soočilo s Henry's#8217s 6000. Kot da stvari ne bi mogle biti slabše, je začelo deževati.

Jutro bitke pri Agincourt, 25. oktobra 1415

25. oktobra, na dan sv. Crispina, sta se obe strani pripravili na boj. Francozom pa ni bilo treba hiteti in ob 8.00 so se v smehu in šali zajtrkovali. Angleži, hladni in mokri od dežja, so pojedli vse, kar jim je ostalo v izčrpanih obrokih.

Po začetnem zastoju se je Henry odločil, da nima kaj izgubiti, in prisilil Francoze v boj ter napredoval. Angleški in valižanski lokostrelci so se premaknili na 300 metrov od sovražnika in začeli streljati. To je sprožilo Francoze v akcijo in prvi val francoske konjenice je napadel, deževno prepojena tla pa so močno ovirala njihov napredek. Nevihta puščic, ki so padale nanje, je povzročila, da so se Francozi vznemirili, zato so se umaknili na pot zdaj napredujoče glavne vojske. Ker so se sile premikale v vse smeri, so bili Francozi kmalu v popolnem neredu. Polje se je hitro spremenilo v močvirje, ki ga je vzpenjalo na tisoče močno oklepnih mož in konj. Angleški in valižanski lokostrelci, globoki kakih deset, so deževali več deset tisoč puščic navzdol na blato, ujeto v Francozih, nato pa je sledila krvava kopel. Sama bitka je trajala le pol ure in med 6.000 in 10.000 Francozi je bilo ubitih, medtem ko so Angleži izgubili na stotine.

Po tristo letih se je prevladovanje dolgega loka v orožju bližalo koncu in je popustilo v dobi mušket in orožja. Zadnja bitka z dolgim ​​lokom se je zgodila leta 1644 pri Tippermuirju v Perthshireu na Škotskem med angleško državljansko vojno.


Lokostrelci z dolgim ​​lokom Referenčno mesto za dolgi lok

Zdaj obstaja majhno število moških z dolgimi loki, ki ne morejo potegniti le dolgih lokov do 180 kg, ampak tudi natančno sprostiti puščice s premerom pol palca, ki so specifikacije vojaških puščic. Zadevni posamezniki uporabljajo opremo, ki je za vse praktične namene enaka večini, ki so jo našli na Mary Rose.

Rezultati, doseženi s temi dolgimi loki, so zelo pomembni za nadaljnjo in obnovljeno analizo dogodkov v Crécyju, Poitiersu in Agincourtu. V nekaterih primerih zadevni moški streljajo že od sedmega leta, so bili vzgojeni v kmečkem okolju in so v težki telesni dejavnosti nadaljevali tudi v odrasli dobi. Ti moški so v nekaterih primerih opravili teste, ki potrjujejo, da ima njihova postava vse značilnosti moških z dolgimi loki. Med mlajšo generacijo je tudi šestnajstletnik, ki že nariše lok za 120 funtov. Čeprav je številčno majhen, bi moral svet lokostrelstva prilagoditi svoje strukture, da bi jih pozdravil.

Smrtonosni lok in hitrostne značilnosti vojne puščice
Strelci s težkim lokom (ali tako imenovani vojni lok) lahko potrdijo strel kot izvedljivo in smrtonosno razdaljo. Z uporabo letečih pušk ali puščičnih puščic bi lahko sovražnika & ldquogalled & rdquo dosegli do 330 do 350 jardov. Drugi pa dvomijo, da bi bile uporabljene žolčne glave, saj njihova posebna oblika in teža ne bi bila primerna za streljanje na daljavo. Zanimiva točka je tudi konfiguracija hitrosti po celotni poti. Vojna puščica s svojo močno konico ima posebno letalno značilnost, ki se razlikuje od & ldquoknitting igel & rdquo, ki se uporabljajo danes. Vojna puščica v svoji ukrivljenosti nazaj proti tlom se bo pospešila in bi lahko dosegla hitrosti, ki se precej približajo prvotni hitrosti izpusta iz premca. O tem obstaja dvom in takšne značilnosti leta čakajo na analizo in natančno merjenje.

Hiter strel ali ne. . .

Toča puščic v primerjavi s strelami

Kar zadeva točko puščic, težki ločni lokostrelci potrjujejo, da je možno izpustiti dvanajst puščic v eni minuti, vendar taka stopnja strela v naslednjih obdobjih ni mogoča. Praktične izkušnje kažejo, da je stopnja strela približno 5 do 6 puščic na minuto izvedljiva v obdobju do 10 minut.

This would appear to underscore Dr Anne Curry&rsquos thesis that arrows were not loosed in a rapidly shot storm, but in quickly succeeding volleys from different groups of archers. A simple calculation backs this up.

According to records, some one and a half million arrows were carried. Five thousand longbow men loosing at a rate of twelve per minute would theoretically get through supplies in 25 minutes. Supply constraints in battle conditions would have more than halved that figure, leaving the longbow men out of supplies and with aching arms after some ten minutes not a likely scenario.

The longbow make it long, make it strong . . . up to a point
Longer is better only if such length achieves a higher draw-weight. Higher draw-weight shoots a heavier arrow further, but clearly the law of diminishing returns applies here (see below). Seven-foot bows were found on the Mary Rose and today's heavy bow archers regularly use such size bows. However, those drawing 160 to 180 pounds are a minority. The Research director of the Mary Rose Trust and tests done at Imperial College indicated that the majority of bows found come in below these heavyweights.

Longer limbs mean that the full draw weight of the bow is less progressively arrived at. The bow is therefore not only &ldquosweeter&rdquo to draw, but much less likely to break even when drawn up to 32 inches. Nevertheless, there is a limit to useful length a very long bow loses its cast. The war bow would have bent evenly through the grip of the hand, but it would not have had a handgrip. As yew is classified as a softwood, the tips of the bow would have had horn nocks for the string and for protection of the wood from the string finds from the Mary Rose confirm this.

Physical characteristics, drawing and release stance of the new longbow men. More investigative work is needed
The physical characteristics of this new generation of longbow men calls for extensive medical investigation, computer modelling and testing. Some work has already been done on this, but more is needed if we are to fully understand how it was possible for men to draw such substantial weights. The drawing and release stance of these men is different from those of the recreational longbow man or woman. Muscles and tendons in the back are used more.

Bone and tendon strength
Drawing a heavy war bow is at least as much about bone and tendon strength as it is about muscular strength (see below).

Longbow men who have shot from a very young age and have remained in a physically demanding environment have an asymmetric skeletal and muscular development. However, diet would have played a substantial role in this.

Bone densities too differ across the shoulder blades and back, as well as from the bow arm to the drawing arm.The same was found among those lost at sea in the Mary Rose. Further investigation is needed if we are fully to understand the rationale for the technique used.

Body-stance and movement, hand eye coordination, the changing grip on the bow as it bends all merit diligent analysis with the best technical means currently available.

And finally although one can learn the technique of drawing heavy bows AND build-up muscle power bone and tendon strength are not so quickly built. Unless that bone and tendon strength is inherent, drawing heavy bows is almost certain to come at a price.


Viking Archery

Bows and arrows may not be not the first weapons that come to mind when we hear of Vikings. But literary, pictorial, and archaeological evidence suggest that they played a major role in both hunting and warfare of the Scandinavian peoples during the early middle ages. There even appears to have been a distinct and somewhat peculiar type of ‘Viking bow’ – reasons enough to dig a little deeper into the history of Viking archery.

The origins of the word ‘Viking’ are uncertain. ‘To go on a Viking’ probably meant to take part in a raiding expedition, and this is exactly what the young men from Denmark, Norway and Sweden did. In their longboats they crossed the North Sea and made landfall on the shores of the British Isles, to loot and burn monasteries, towns and villages, kill all who stood in their way, and enslave the rest. From their first raid on Lindisfarne in 793 AD until 1066 AD when their descendants from Normandy won rulership over England, the Vikings instilled fear and terror in the peoples of Europe. However, in this tale of bloodshed, loot, rape, and other atrocities, it is often overlooked that the Vikings were also peaceful merchants, skilful craftsmen, keen explorers, bodyguards to the emperors of Byzantium, and successful state-builders in Russia, Sicily, Ireland, Normandy and elsewhere.

While other contemporary European sources mainly focus on the violent exploits of the heathen devils from the North, the Scandinavian sagas tell the stories of their kings and heroes, and legal documents reveal details of viking society and jurisdiction. The oldest Norse collections of laws, like the Norwegian gulathingslov for example, mention spear, sword or battle-axe, and shield as well as bow and arrows as the weapons of any free man. Among the famous archers whose accomplishments the sagas recount in great detail was a man named Einar Eindrideson, called Tambarskjelve, or ‘Flutterstring’. Around the year 1000AD, or so it is told, he competed in a flight shoot against his king Olav Tryggvarson and shot an arrow over more than 1,500 yards. In the sea battle of Svold, Einar’s bow was hit by an enemy arrow. Snorri Sturlusson, who recorded this story in the early 13 th century, goes on to say that the King then gave Einar his own bow, which the seasoned archer found ‘too weak, too weak for the bow of a mighty king’.

The sagas sometimes also mention hornbogi, ‘hornbows’, mainly in the hands of the Vikings’ enemies. Short, reflexed composite bows made of layers of horn and sinew on a wooden core are generally associated with mounted archers from Eastern steppe cultures such as the Huns, Avars, Magyars, or later the Mongols. However, such bows have also been discovered in distinctly Viking contexts, for example as grave goods, and they may have been acquired as gifts, by trade, or as spoils of war.

A diagram of the bow found at Hedeby

Recent excavations at the Viking-age settlement at Birka in Sweden, for example, revealed evidence that Eastern-style archery was practised by local warriors. Not only do some of the discovered arrowheads show distinct steppe designs, leather remains also suggest that gorytoi, bow cases used by mounted archers since Scythian times, have been in use there, and among the finds was even a thumb ring, worn to protect the thumb when shooting in the somewhat mis-labelled ‘Mongolian’ style.

However, these items were imports of one kind or another, and not manufactured locally. What then did the typical Viking bow look like? Fortunately, a number of medieval illustrations give us a good first impression.

According to legend, Edmund, king of East Anglia, was killed by Danish invaders on 20 November 869 AD because he refused to renounce his Christian beliefs. The church later declared him a martyr and his death was not only recorded in text, but also in images. They show the king tied to a tree, being shot at with arrows by Danes using wooden longbows with their tips bent towards the archer. The strings are fastened to the bow just below this peculiar bend.

Similar bows in the hands of Northern warriors can be seen in a number of book illustrations from the 11 th to the 14 th centuries, and also in other media. For example Ullr, the Norse god of winter and of hunting, appears to carry a bow of this type in a stone carving from Balingsta in Sweden.

Ullr, the Norse god of winter and hunting, depicted on skis with a bow on the Böksta runestone near Balingsta, Sweden

Archaeological excavations in the 1960s in Ballinderry in Ireland and Hedeby in Northern Germany unearthed complete bows and fragments dating from the 9 th to the 11 th centuries, which prove that these depictions were not mere artistic fantasies. The Ballinderry bow is 185cm long, 3.8cm wide in the centre and 2.85cm thick. The complete bow from Hedeby measures 191cm in length, with 4cm maximum width and 3.3cm thickness. Both artefacts, as well as some of the Hedeby fragments, show the characteristic bend and were made, with one notable exception, from yew. Very young trees of no more than 6cm in diameter seem to have been stripped of their bark and used to build these bows. They are D-shaped in profile, with a thin layer of sapwood on the back. From the grip section in the centre the limbs taper slightly down to the bend, from where the tips widen again.

Both bows and two of the fragments have a single string notch cut into their right side just below the bend. Signs of wear suggest that the string had been tied to the lower end with a complicated multiple knot. The length of the string measured 178cm for the Hedeby bow, and 169cm for the bow from Ballinderry. Another peculiar detail is a short iron nail with a domed head driven into the back of the Hedeby bow, and one of the fragments some 10cm below the nock. It was probably meant to keep the string loop from sliding down when the bow was unstrung.

The bending of the tips was most likely achieved by steaming the wood. In its moist, hot state the stave could then have been fixed on some form of rig or bent around a cylindrical object of sorts. But why exactly the Viking bowyers would go through such extra efforts is somewhat enigmatic, though. The bent sections have no purpose they offer no mechanical advantages whatsoever, and in fact only serve to increase the mass of the limbs without adding to their strength. If they were not simply a cultural feature or tradition, their only possible explanation was to act as handholds when stringing the bow.

The bottom end of the Hedeby bow, where the string was tied

Modern reproductions of the Ballinderry and Hedeby bows have proven themselves to be very effective weapons of between 80 and 100lbs of draw weight – but these measurements refer to the modern standard draw length of 28 inches. If the medieval images are realistic representations of Viking archery, then their anchor point was at the chest rather than the chin or the ear, resulting in a shorter draw, particularly considering the shorter height of medieval man.

Sadly, no complete Viking arrow shafts that could give an indication of their draw length have been discovered yet. Shooting distances of 1,500 yards as recorded for Einar Flutterstring are out of the question anyhow, merely the stuff of legend. Even the 13 th century Icelandic laws defining a bowshot as a measure of distance of roughly 525 yards seems a little far fetched. But armed with a broadhead, an arrow shot from a viking bow would without doubt have had sufficient power to penetrate leather, skin, flesh, and potentially even soft armour, at reasonable distances, making them formidable weapons for both hunting and warfare and thus very suitable arms of a free man.

When William, duke of Normandy, crossed the channel in 1066 AD to conquer England, he brought with him a substantial number of archers. The battle he fought with king Harold at Hastings is recorded on the famous Bayeux Tapestry. The bows carried by the Norman archers appear to be a little shorter than the earlier Viking bows, but still appeared to be following the same building pattern. The accuracy of these depictions has long been in doubt, but the 1986–1992 excavations in Waterford, a town in Ireland founded by Vikings, unearthed one complete bow and six fragments showing great similarity with the ones shown.

The 11th century Norman bows depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry still show the characteristic shape of the earlier Viking bows

They were made of yew, with the characteristically bent tip section, but the complete bow only measures 126cm in total length. A single string notch was cut into opposing sides on the upper and lower end respectively. Apart from a great number of arrowheads, a lot of them bent, one complete, unbroken arrow 23.8 inches long was also found at Waterford. The finds are probably connected to the town’s capture by the Anglo-Normans under Richard Fitzgilbert de Clare, better known as ‘Strongbow’, in the year 1170 AD.

It would seem the Viking bow was still – with some adjustments – very much in favour after a couple of centuries, apparently having proven its efficiency satisfactorily.

If you’re interested, here is a short list of some further reading on the subject:

Juergen Junkmanns. ‘The Bows of the Vikings’ in: The Bow Builder’s Book. European Bow Building from the Stone Age to Today. Atglen: Schiffer Publications. 2. izd. 2012.

Michael Leach. ‘The Norman Short Bow ‘ in: Journal of the Society of Archer Antiquaries 52 (2009), pp. 82–90.

Harm Paulsen. ‘Pfeil und Bogen in Haithabu’ In: Harald Gelbig and Harm Paulsen. Das archäologische Fundmaterial VI. Berichte über die Ausgrabungen in Haithabu. Bericht 33. Neumünster: Wachholtz Verlag 1999, pp. 93–143.


American Indian Archery Technology

American Indians did not always have the bow and arrow. It was not until about A.D. 500 that the bow and arrow was adopted in Iowa some 11,500 years after the first people came to the region. Primary benefits of the bow and arrow over the spear are more rapid missile velocity, higher degree of accuracy, and greater mobility. Arrowheads also required substantially less raw materials than spear heads. A flint knapper could produce a large number of small projectile points from a single piece of chert. Even with the gun's many advantages in the historic era, bows and arrows are much quieter than guns, allowing the hunter more chances to strike at the prey.

Indians used arrows to kill animals as large as bison and elk. Hunters approached their prey on foot or on horse back, accurately targeting vulnerable areas. The choice of materials and the design of arrows and the bow were not random. Some materials were generally more readily available than others. Environmental conditions also affected the choice of materials. Humidity affects wooden bows, and temperature affects horn and antler. The intended use of the system, on foot or horse back, for instance, affects the final design. Bows used while mounted on horseback tend to be shorter than the bows used when on foot. Since the length of the bow determines the stress placed on the bow when drawn, shorter bows tend to be made of composite materials while bows used when on foot can be made of wood. Indians used a variety of materials to make the bow stave, relying on materials that met certain

requirements , most important of which is flexibility without breaking. Several species of plants and some animal materials met these requirements. Ash, hickory, locust, Osage orange, cedar, juniper, oak, walnut, birch, choke cherry, serviceberry , and mulberry woods were used. Elk antler, mountain sheep horn, bison horn, and ribs, and caribou antler also were used where available. Bow construction techniques included a single stave of wood (self bow), wood with sinew reinforcement (backed bow), and a combination of horn or antler with sinew backing (composite bow). Hide glue was used to attach the backing. Bow strings most frequently were made of sinew (animal back or leg tendon), rawhide, or gut. The Dakota Indians also used cord made from the neck of snapping turtles. Occasionally, plant fibers, such as inner bark of basswood, slippery elm or cherry trees, and yucca were used. Nettles, milkweed, and dogbane are also suitable fibers. Well-made plant fiber string is superior to string made of animal fibers because it holds the most weight while resisting stretching and remaining strong in damp conditions. However, plant fiber strings are generally much more labor intensive to make than animal fiber strings, and the preference in the recent past was for sinew, gut, or rawhide.

Arrow shafts were made out of shoots, such as dogwood, wild rose, ash, birch, chokecherry, and black locust. Reeds from common reed grass were also used with some frequency throughout North America with the exception of the Plains where reeds did not grow. Shoots were shaved, sanded, or heat and pressure straightened. Tools made of bone or sandstone were used to straighten the shaft wood. Because they are hollow and light, reed-shaft arrows typically have a wooden foreshaft and sometimes a wooden plug for the nock end of the arrow. If a foreshaft was used, it could be glued to the main shaft, tied with sinew, or fit closely enough to not need glue or sinew. Prehistoric points or heads were made of stone, antler, or bone. Thin metal, bottle glass, and flint ballast stones also were used to make points in the historic period.

Points were attached to the arrow shaft with a variety of methods. Most frequently, the arrow shaft would have a slit cut into the end to accept the point. Sinew would then be wrapped around the shaft to pinch the slit closed. Points could also be hafted directly by wrapping sinew around the point and the arrow shaft. Metal points generally were attached using the same techniques and only infrequently attached by means of a socket.

Indians made many types of arrowheads. In addition to the traditional triangular stone arrowhead, carved wood or leather points have large, broad surfaces. Different types of arrow tips were used for different purposes, such as for large game versus small game. Small triangular stone points are not bird points: large, blunt-tipped wooden points were used for birds. Harpoon-like points also exist and were used in fishing.

Fletching of bird feathers was sewn to or inserted in the shaft. Feathers of wild turkey were preferred but many other birds, including eagle, crow, goose, hawk, and turkey, were often used. Sinew was generally used to attach the fletching by first stripping some of the feathers from the front and back of the vane and then tying the vane to the shaft in front of and behind the remaining feathers. Sometimes plant twine was used to sew through the quill. Hide glue was used with or instead of sinew ties. Animal products like sinew have the advantage of tightening as they dry.

The fletching balances the weight of the arrowhead to prevent the arrow from tumbling end-over-end in flight. When fletched properly, an arrow may spin in flight producing an ideal trajectory. A similar effectiveness is gained by placing grooves in the barrel of a rifle to cause the bullet to spin. In fact, until the invention of rifled guns, bows generally proved to be more accurate and could shoot arrows further than powder-thrown missiles. The bow and arrow is a complex technology. Each element must be balanced in proportion to the others and to the user to make an effective tool. The bow acts as a pair of springs connected by the grip or handle. As the string is pulled the material on the inside or belly of the bow limbs compresses, while the outside or nazaj is stretched and is placed under tension. This action stores the energy used to draw the string back. When the string is released, the limbs quickly return to their state of rest and release the energy stored by drawing the string. Therefore, the power of a bow is measured in terms of draw weight.

The height and strength of the archer determines the ideal draw weight of the bow. A combination of the length of draw and the draw weight of the bow determines the cast (propelling force) of the bow. Adjusting either or both of these features allows the arrowhead to be made larger or smaller as needed. The draw weight of the bow also determines the ideal weight and diameter of the arrow shaft. Even a bow with a high draw weight can only throw an arrow so far. If the arrow is too heavy, it will not fly far or fast enough to be very useful. A shaft that is too thick or too thin will also lead to problems. It must compress enough to bend around the bow stave as it is launched by the string. If it does not bend, the arrow flies to the side of the target. If it bends too much, it will wobble (reducing the striking force) or even shatter.

The length of the draw, also determined by the body of the archer, determines the length of the arrow. The maximum cast of the bow determines the maximum weight of the point. This is how we know that certain "arrowheads" can not really have been used on an arrow, at least not to any good effect. A general rule of thumb is that a stone arrowhead will be less than 1 1/2-x-3/4-inch in dimensions and will generally weigh less than one ounce. Larger "arrowheads" probably would have been spear, dart, or knife tips.

For further reading.

Ackerman, Laura B.
1985 The Bow Machine, Science 85, July/August, pp . 92-93.

Allely, Steve, and Jim Hamm
1999 Encyclopedia of Native American Bows, Arrows & Quivers: Volume I: Northeast, Southeast, And Midwest. Lyons Press, New York.

Allely, Steve et al.
1992 The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volumes 1-3. Lyons & Burford , New York.

Hamilton, T. M.
1982 Native American Bows. Special Publications No. 5, Missouri Archaeological Society, Columbia, Missouri.

Hamm, Jim
1991 Bows & Arrows of the Native Americans. Lyons and Burford , New York. [Guide to construction.]

Hardy, Robert
1992 Longbow: A Social and Military History. Lyons and Burford , New York. [Appendix has detailed description of bow and arrow physics.]

McEwen, Edward, Robert L. Miller, and Christopher A. Bergman
1991 Early Bow Design and Construction, Scientific American, June 1991, pp . 77-82.

Pope, Saxton T.
1962 Bows and Arrows. University of California Press, Los Angeles.

Stockel, Henrietta H.
1995 The Lightening Stick: Arrows, Wounds, and Indian Legends. University of Nevada Press, Reno.

Hurley, Vic
1975 Arrows Against Steel: The History of the Bow. Mason Charter, New York. [Discussion of effectiveness of the bow compared to firearms.]

Pamphlet text and illustrations by Tim Weitzel . Cover art by Pranik Saiyasith .

This pamphlet is made possible through a grant from the ISF administered by the Iowa Academy of Science.


Revolutionary War Artillery

Cannon, mortars and howitzers made up the three types of artillery used at Yorktown by the Americans, French and British.

Cannon included both field guns, which were lightweight, mobile pieces and heavy siege guns which had limited mobility. Field guns, firing solid shot, grapeshot and canister in a fairly flat trajectory, could tear large holes in the enemy’s infantry ranks. Siege cannon fired solid shot, destroying fortifications and buildings. Against ships, cannon crews utilized hot shot, a superheated cannon ball that could set a ship on fire and bar shot and chain shot, (two halves of a cannon ball attached by either a bar or chain) that could pull down a ship’s mast and rigging.

Mortars differed from cannon in both appearance and firing principles. Na ravno posteljo je bila nameščena malta, podobna velikemu lesenemu bloku. An elevating wedge raised the barrel, enabling the mortar to fire an exploding shell, called a "bomb," in a high trajectory. Bomba bo ob ustreznem sprožitvi letela nad zemeljskimi deli in eksplodirala, medtem ko je še vedno v zraku, deževni geleri pa sovražnika

The howitzer combined the principles of both the cannon and the mortar. Havbica, nameščena na terenski voziček, je izstrelila tako bombe kot topovske krogle na ravno ali visoko pot.

/>Howitzer The size of the mortar and howitzer was designated by the width of the bore. Eight, ten, 12 and 13-inch mortars and howitzers were used at Yorktown. />Siege Cannon, 24-pounder The British surrendered at Yorktown 244 artillery pieces of mainly lightweight field cannon. These had been ineffective against the enemy’s earthworks. While General Washington’s forces had considerably fewer pieces— approximately 131— it was their superior number of siege guns and their skilled gun crews, such as Colonel Lamb’s Artillery, that made the difference. />Siege Cannon, 18-pounder

Artillery Ranges

The exact firing ranges of the artillery pieces at Yorktown are difficult to determine. Factors such as piece size, amount of powder charge and quality of the powder affected the range. The following are rough averages:

Maximum Range Effective Range

CANNON 2,000 yards 1,000 yards

MORTARS 1,400 yards 750 yards

HOWITZER 1,300 yards 750 yards

The difference between maximum and effective range, and the difficulty in determining ranges, demonstrates the nature of artillery in the American Revolution. Artillery was not an exact science, so the skill and experience of the gun crew often determined the success of the artillery.


Arrows in the Middle Ages

Saint Sebastian: Late medieval arrows with long triangular fletching, barbed arrowheads, and colour markings

Continuing on in a history of arrows, Jan H Sachers takes us from the rise of the knights to the sinking of the Mary Rose

With the advent of the knight in the 11th century, the social elite fought with lance, shield, and sword as a mounted warrior in armour, while the cheaper bow was a weapon of the lower ranks of society.

Literature of the era, however, paid little to no attention to the common infantrymen, and they are rarely depicted in contemporary illustrations, which led to the impression they had been absent from the battlefields.

In open battle, the bow’s quicker shooting rate still made it superior to the much-more expensive crossbows that took their time to be spanned, and hence archers are likely to have remained a part of most regular armies from the 12th to the 16th centuries, even if they relatively left little trace in recorded history.

An archer defending a town or castle. Crusader Bible, Paris, ca. 1250

In the crusading armies archers certainly played a crucial role, even if they were often paid mercenaries from Armenia, Syria, and other local regions.

An important pictorial source from the 13th century, the so-called Maciejowski or Crusader Bible, shows an archer with a very particular bow in defense of a town or castle, which may be considered one of the main tasks for professional archers.

General observations on arrows

Most high medieval illustrations of arrows show bulbous nocks and triangular or parabolic fletching secured with a thread whipping. The arrows under the belt of philosopher and author John Gower (ca. 1400) may have glued on nocks of horn or other dark material.

Arrowheads are commonly of the wide two-bladed and (often) barbed variety, which is easy to recognise, and depict in paint.

John Gower’s arrows seem to be equipped with horn nocks. Pribl. 1400

The martyrdom of St. Sebastian became a popular subject for artists in the late Middle Ages. A famous example from the 15th century (Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne) shows archers with strong yew bows.

Their arrows are made with adequately thick shafts, perhaps tapering towards the nocks, long triangular fletching, and swept-out ‘swallowtail’ heads with two curved blades.

This painting is likely to give a good impression of real arrows from that time. The depicted arrowheads would have been of good use in both hunting and warfare against unarmoured opponents.

In a portrait of Anton, ’the Bastard of Burgundy’ (Rogier van der Weyden, ca. 1460) he is holding an arrow in his hand which has a shaft clearly tapering towards the bulbuous nock.

It is fletched with three white feathers of parabolic shape without whipping. The cock-feather is marked by two thin red stripes.

Medieval arrowheads for hunting in the Royal Armouries, Leeds

Hunting arrows

Bows and arrows were a favourite hunting weapon for both nobles and common folk – even though the hunting practices of the latter were usually classed as poaching and are mainly documented in court protocols and other judicial documents.

The noble hunt on the other hand increasingly became the subject of illustrated manuscripts from the 14th century onwards. Here we find arrows not only in image, but also in descriptive texts, which finally offer some details on their manufacture and use.

Gaston Phoebus (1331-1391), the Count of Foix and most famous hunting author of the late Middle Ages recommends two-bladed arrowheads, ‘well sharpened and filed’, which should be ‘five fingers long and exactly four fingers wide’ between the barbs. The arrows depicted in his ‘The Book of the Hunt’ match this description quite well.

Wide, two-bladed arrowheads were able to make big wounds causing heavy blood loss, so the prey was weakened quickly if the hit had not been fatal at once.

Another kind of arrow is often shown in hunting treatises and other book illustrations as well. It has a blunt wooden tip and is used for hunting hare, rabbit, squirrel, and other small furry game, so as not to damage their pelt.

The late medieval illustrated examples appear bigger than the originals discovered in Haithabu, which may be due to artistic license or reflect an actual change in design.

Petrus de Crescentiis, a 14th century author, recommends the use of a special arrow to hunt big birds. The ‘sagitta bifurcata’ was a forked point with two blades sharpened on the inside.

According to Petrus it was able to cut through a wild goose’s or other large fowl’s neck or wing. Examples of such arrowheads have indeed been found, but are mostly referred to as ‘rope cutters’ in modern literature.

English archery

The situation in England differed from the rest of the continent. After the experiences of the Welsh and Scottish wars, contingents of archers remained a regular part of practically every English army until well into the 16th century.

Archery became a mandatory exercise for all able-bodied men, and the yeomen archers who could handle the strong yew warbow were held in much higher esteem – and paid considerably more – than in other European countries.

Documentation of production, storage, and use of arrows is particularly rich for the time of the Hundred Years War (1337-1456) with France. For example, it is recorded that in the year 1360 alone, half a million arrows were delivered to the royal armouries in the Tower of London the year before it had been another 850,000.

Fletchers throughout the country were responsible for this mass production, but they supplied not only the Tower, but also other royal armouries as in Bristol (11,000 arrows in 1346) as well as individual nobles who had to equip their own personal retinue.

Raw materials were also stored centrally. In 1417 six feathers from every goose within the realm had to be delivered to the Tower, with the Counties being mandated to supply a total of 1,190,000 goose feathers in the following year.

In 1417 six feathers from every goose within the realm had to be delivered to the Tower of London

To secure the supply of good wood for arrow shafts, King Henry V banned the use of poplar for any other use in 1416, particularly the manufacture of wooden shoes.

Surviving original arrowheads show a few interesting details. While many arrowheads classified as hunting points show a small hole where the socket was fixed to the shaft with a small nail or rivet, this is absent on arrowheads for warfare.

Most likely these were just pressed onto the shaft or loosely fixed with beeswax, which was not only more economical, but had several advantages. When pulling the shaft from a wound, the point was likely to remain inside. Shafts without heads could not be re-used by the enemy, while arrowheads could easily be removed from broken shafts and re-fitted.

The fletcher’s trade

Bowyers and fletchers in London originally formed a common guild, until the latter petitioned for a strict separation of the crafts in 1371, and The Worshipful Company of Fletchers was founded.

In other European countries fletchers never seemed to have formed their own guilds. In Germany they were mainly found in the bigger towns, their products sold by traveling merchants in times of peace. They only supplied the shafts with fletchings and nocks, while the customer had it equipped with forged arrowheads.

Customers included noblemen, wealthy citizens, and the towns themselves. The latter in particular bought large quantities, but since European fletchers produced not only arrows, but also crossbow bolts, and the records do not distinguish between the two, it is impossible to quantify the use of bows and arrows by these numbers alone.

Two fletchers at work, finished arrows packed in barrels. Alexander Romance, 14th century

Being of strategical importance for war and also the defense of towns, fletchers often profited from tax reduction or even exemption as in 14th century Vienna.

Arrow shafts from the high and late Middle Ages were made from wooden boards. A special jig was used to turn staves of square cross section into rounded shafts with a selection of planes. Sandstone and fish skin smoothened the surface, the nock slit was cut into the wood with a small saw.

It is not clear when the reinforcement of the nocks with a sliver of horn became common. 14th and 15th century illustrations often still show the bulbous nocks instead, which had been in use for centuries, particularly with tapered shafts.

The fletchings were mainly attached using skin glue, sometimes mixed with beeswax, verdigris (copper sulphate), and other components to keep insects away during long times of storage.

The fletchings were additionally secured with a whipping of silk or linen thread, since skin glue is not water resistant. Judging by the illustrations, popular shapes of fletchings included parallelogram, triangular, parabolic, and ‘banana’.

Of all indigenous birds, only goose and swan produced feathers long and strong enough to be used as fletchings, and available in large enough quantities – the turkey only being introduced to Europe from America much later.

Feathers from birds of prey such as eagles as well as from pheasants and peacocks were probably used for individual hunting arrows, but not suitable for mass production.

courtesy: warbowwales.com

To this day, the only complete late medieval arrow was found in the rafters of the capital house in Westminster Abbey, where it must have been placed before the renovation in 1437.

The shaft is 29 inches long, probably made of ash, with a diameter of 10.7 mm beneath the socket and 7.6 mm at the rear end. The widest part of 11.4 mm is at about two-fifths of the total length behind the arrowhead, a shaft design known as ‘breasted’ or ‘chested’.

A 4 cm long slit was cut perpendicular to the string groove at the rear end, probably to receive a thin sliver of horn as reinforcement.

Reddish-brown remains of a glue covered some 18 cm (7 in.) of the rear end in which three feathers and an increasingly narrow binding have left their marks.

The heavily corroded head was a type very popular in late medieval England with narrow, curved blades and barbs.

Arrows from the Mary Rose

The sinking of Henry VIII’s flagship Mary Rose in the Solent near Portsmouth in 1545 proved to be a treasure chest for archaeologists. It carried, among other things, 172 yew longbows and several thousand arrows, 2,900 of which have been recovered and analysed.

Most of them were bundled in sheaves of 24 up to 40 of these bundles fit into special wooden boxes, some of which were also salvaged.

Lengths of these arrows vary, but the vast majority (841 of a total of 1,054) measures 31 inches, with the longest being 32.5, the shortest 27.5 inches long. (Essentially, arrows were standardised ammunition, even if bow weights varied with the archer.)

Their front ends are tapered conically, with a marked shoulder to receive the arrowhead socket. The average diameter at the shoulder is ½ inch, tapering to ⅜ inches towards the nock. Narrow slits two inches long sometimes still contained remains of the horn reinforcements.

Actor and longbow expert: the late Robert Hardy at the opening of the Mary Rose Museum
(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

More than three quarters of all analysed shafts are made of poplar, others of ash, birch, and even oak as well as at least six as yet unidentified types of wood. Most of them taper evenly towards the nock, considerably fewer are parallel, barrelled, or chested.

Glue remains indicate an average fletching length of six inches feathers were aligned radially and secured with a thread whipping. Unfortunately, the iron arrowheads have been destroyed by centuries in salt water.

At least those arrows bundled in leather discs – probably as part of a linen arrow sack – were probably equipped with narrow type 16 or bodkin type points.

In the same year the Mary Rose sank, Roger Ascham published his treatise ‘Toxophilus. Or, the Schole of Shooting’, the oldest known archery manual in Europe. His work is dedicated to target archery, which differs in great many respects from what was common or required in hunting or war.

Ascham recommends shafts of ash only for war arrows, since it is heavier and at the same time faster than the more popular Aspen. Apart from other well-known types of wood like birch and oak he also lists exotic materials such as Brazil wood, turkwood, fustic, or sugar maple.

He also mentions footings, and splicing in hardwoods at the nock to counterbalance heavy arrowheads – practices that were far too lavish for mass-produced war arrows.

‘Toxophilus’ is evidence for a transformation of archery in England during the 16th century, when the bow was more and more replaced by firearms as a weapon of war, and turned into a piece of sporting equipment.

Recreational archery required lower draw weights, different types of arrowheads, and many other changes in gear and shooting styles. With the sinking of the Mary Rose and the drowning of many of the king’s own archers, and the publication of a civilian archery manual the year 1545 may be considered a pivot point in the history of English archery.

However, unlike in most other European countries, archery remained a part of the English tradition and heritage, and even its medieval forms are making a comeback – with much reproduction equipment still available today.